Why The Tax Code Is Pro-Choice

11 Jun

Every time I prepare a tax return I find myself shaking my head over the strangeness of the war over abortion. Did you know that a child, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code is one that is born alive? There is no exemption provided for a stillborn baby, or for a fetus as of December 31. Perhaps this is another tax change that the anti choice supporters would like to see enacted? To the best of my knowledge though, there is no bill in any state or in prepartion to be put before the federal government to create an exemption for an unborn fetus. How would such a tax break work anyway? Would you have to attach a pregnancy test to your tax return? Give birth by April 15 the following year? What about women who conceive on New Year’s – we know when a baby is born if it’s on December 31 or January 1, but who is to say if a woman is entitled to a fetus exemption for the year ended December 31 or not? Do you just give all women able to have children an extra exemption because on December 31 they could be pregnant? That doesn’t make sense – it would discrminate against those women too old or otherwise unable to have children, and of course, against men. Giving everyone an extra exemption doesn’t make fetuses into children, because then everyone (men, women, infertile, fertile, whatever) would get it – like an extra exemption for them, not their fetus/child.

Hmm… doesn’t sound like it’s too feasible then to call a fetus the same thing as a child – and the fact that the anti-choicers out there haven’t pushed to incentivize women’s uteruses with an exemption the same as you receive for a child tells me that they know it.


5 Responses to “Why The Tax Code Is Pro-Choice”

  1. yc June 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Excellent points!

    If I recall correctly, dependents on tax returns must be provided with their social security number, which brings up another problem: that we only issue social security numbers/cards at birth! Social security numbers should be generated for every woman’s monthly ovulation–just in case.

  2. Went Rogue June 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    The tax code is pro-choice. Too bad we can’t use our taxes to pay for abortion care.

  3. Shayna June 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    YC – Excellent point! You are right (there was a time when you did not have to have social security numbers for your children in order to claim them, which spawned A LOT of people claiming “Liz, Claiborne, Neiman, Marcus” etc. — Kidding about the clothing/store names on tax returns (old joke from the tv show, The Nanny)).

  4. Sophia June 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    And meanwhile, many INS companies deny birth control coverage or have a cap on it via annual maximums etc.. yet deny coverage of abortions. Furthermore, if a woman were to sign up for a pre tax payroll deduction plan via her employer, an abortion can be deemed ineligible by the employer.

    So messed up.

    Thanks for the post, it’s dead on.

  5. Shayna June 12, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Sophia — Agree. I think the employer-as-decisionmaker is the most galling part… because it’s none of the HR department’s business what goes on in my uterus unless I put in for short term disability for maternity leave (or another uterus related disability leave related ailment)

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